SCOTLAND'S under-fire referees were back in the spotlight yesterday as Partick Thistle manager Gary Caldwell claimed bungling officials are putting livelihoods at stake following his side's 1-1 draw with Falkirk.

Caldwell was incensed as Andrew Dallas sent off Thistle midfielder Gary Harkins for two bookable offences at Firhill, feeling that the second of those - a foul on Ross MacLean - didn't merit a yellow card.

The Thistle boss went on to label match officials arrogant, although he declined to elaborate on the post-match discussion he had with Dallas as they left the field of play.

“Every week there is bad decisions in every game we play in," Caldwell said. “It’s important for people’s lives that they get these decisions right.

“I’m not saying they can be perfect. I think the way they go about it after, the arrogance they show I think isn’t great.

“I think it needs to improve. We need to make it better because this is people’s livelihoods at stake in these games.

“I don’t understand how every foul we make is a yellow card, yet they get away with one, two, three fouls. I think he got sucked in today.

“I had a quiet word with the referee after the game, but I can’t say what he said. It’s private."

The controversy at Firhill is the latest in a string of high-profile incidents involving match officials in Scotland.

Dallas was at the centre of another storm as he awarded a highly controversial penalty to St Johnstone against Hearts, and Tynecastle manager Craig Levein received a one-match ban for comments about referee Bobby Madden after a defeat to Rangers.

Celtic also issued a statement after referee John Beaton decided not to send off Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos in the recent Old Firm game, with the official subsequently calling in police after receiving threats towards both himself and his family.

Meanwhile, Caldwell said he was unaware of coins being thrown in his direction from the Falkirk end during yesterday's match.

A Firhill steward reported coins being thrown at the 36-year-old from the Colin Weir Stand behind the dugouts.